• 47 per cent of Hitachi’s $81bn revenue accounted for by overseas operations in 2014
  • Opportunities in power, water and rail being explored

Japan’s Hitachi is keen on expanding its Middle East business as it aims to generate half of its annual revenues outside of Japan. Some 47 per cent of the company’s $81bn-worth of revenues were generated from its overseas operations, primarily in China, North America and Asia.

To do this, the company aims to leverage partnerships and its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) experience in the region. For instance, a client in Saudi Arabia recently required large-scale gas turbines, which Hitachi does not currently supply. Hitachi then partnered with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and installed those turbines since they have had a strong experience in the installation of these turbines in power plant facilities elsewhere.

Hitachi has also been collaborating with a Saudi client in undertaking desalination-related research and development.

Last month, Alistair Dormer, global CEO of Hitachi’s rail business, told MEED that he saw major potential in the Middle East’s booming rail industry. Hitachi supplied the monorail rolling stock for the Jumeirah Palm tramway and is part of the five-member consortium led by MHI which won a $4.12bn contract for the supply of rolling stock and systems for the first phase of the Doha Metro.

While the rolling stock for the Doha Metro will be supplied by MHI, Hitachi hopes it could win rolling stock contracts in the future. The company recently built a rolling stock plant in the UK, following a successful bid in a joint venture with Agility Train for the $8.9bn intercity express programme (EIP).

Dormer said the firm would potentially consider building similar infrastructure in the Middle East if it won a major rolling stock supply contract or if the government or a client makes building a plant imperative for them to win a contract.

In addition to the power and transport sectors, Hitachi is actively involved in the region’s construction sector, through its high-speed elevators, as well as in water projects such as the membrane reactor / reverse osmosis (MBR-RO) solution for the water fountain at the Dubai Mall and a desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. It is also active in the region’s information technology (IT) and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) markets.

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